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Palestinians escape Israel brutality, seek new home in Malaysia
Published in Bikya Masr on 28 - 07 - 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Palestinians seeking reprieve from the daily brutality meted out against them by the Israeli military and occupation are looking more and more often to Malaysia as a potential home.
According to the Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM), more than 3,000 Palestinians have arrived in Malaysia as a result of the government's willingness to give them temporary residence in the country, where they can live in peace.
PCOM Chairman Muslim Abu Umar said that the Southeast Asian country has become a top choice as a result of its stability and ability to provide security guarantees for the Palestinians arriving.
“Although some of them have migrated to the United States (US), United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, many of them want to live in Malaysia because of the peace and stability of the country,” he told reporters on Saturday.
Abu Umar, 25, and four PCOM staff, said they are unable to return to Palestine until a final decision was made by the international community on the “brutality of the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people.”
He said there were no Palestinian refugees in Indonesia although the country was home to the world's largest Muslim population, but Malaysia “seemed the most capable of assuring the safety of the citizens as well as foreign citizens who took refuge here.”
Mohamed, another Palestinian who fled the Israeli occupation after he was arrested and beaten by Israeli Defense Forces last year, told Bikyamasr.com that he “appreciates the welcoming nature of the Malaysian people and how they have made me feel at home even though I am a foreigner.”
Others agreed that Malaysians have been opening to Palestinians, recognizing their struggle in the Middle East.
Abu Umar added that the last time Palestinian refugees entered Malaysia was in 2006, when 92 individuals including children fled from Iraq after the Arab country was invaded by United Sates troops and peace was increasingly jeopardized.
“We (PCOM) need support to help the 92 Palestinians. They escaped from Haifa (Palestine) which had been conquered by Israel, to the West Bank in 1948. The heat of the battle then spread to the West Bank and forced them to seek refuge in Iraq before they migrated to Malaysia when war broke out in Iraq,” he said.

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